I have seen many people talking about hawk problems. I recommend baler twine strung over the top of the run, but I never get any replies. I assume that people think, "Ha! The hawks can just dive through the holes."
Not so. Have you seen hawks when they land? They spread their wings out to keep from hitting the ground. Baler twine is usually orange, or blue. The hawk can see it, and knows it can't spread its wings properly to land in the run.
Here are my two methods of putting up baler twine:
This method is cleaner, because it only attaches to the posts, not the chicken wire.
This method is messier, because the string pulls on the wire. This, however, allows you to have smaller openings.
I tried this because I lost a hen to a hawk. After that, I knew the hawk would come back until my chickens were all gone. My rooster was also a coward.
After I set the twine up, I sat in the run petting some of my chickens. On the other side of the coop, I saw the shadow of a hawk as it swooped down. The chickens panicked, and one even jumped into my lap. All of my chickens were okay. The hawk was deterred, and my test was successful.
This method is extremely cheap, and works very well for me. I hope you'll try it before buying netting or wire mesh, because it works very well!
Thank you for reading.
I recently had a chicken die to unknown causes. I posted on BYC asking what people thought it was, and everybody said Hawk. After thinking about it for a while, and watching constantly for hawks, I think it died from sickness, not a hawk. I haven't seen a hawk for months, and there have been no more dead of injured chickens.
The only problem I have with the baler twine is when you get a ton of freezing rain. It made the baler twine sag, so I had to go out and break the ice off. Other than that, I have had no problems.
BYC Predators and Pests Forum